If you (or someone you know) have ever dealt with the aftermath of a breakup, there’s every possibility that you may have asked yourself this question. Maybe once. Maybe one million times.
The pain that comes from recalling all the wonderful memories you made with them and all the ways they made you feel as though you are the center of their world (while your relationship lasted) is enough to make you want to crawl into your bed and break down in a fit of sobs.
The truth is this. Getting over someone you once loved (when the relationship is clearly over) isn’t easy.
One thing that makes it harder is if the person seems to be doing just fine without you in the picture (if they can walk out the doors and find another person to be with, almost immediately).
This is because it comes with many benefits for you (physical and emotional benefits as well). In any case, this article will show you exactly how to stop loving someone you can’t have.
Can you ever forget your love?
For a long time, the question of whether you can ever stop loving someone (or not) has gone unanswered. The absence of a simple answer to this question didn’t, in any capacity, take away the fact that breakups happen and that they can sometimes be nasty.
Unfortunately, most people will experience breakups multiple times. This study revealed that breakups could lead to many negative feelings, including depression, loneliness, loss of self-esteem, and many other side effects.
One of the most prominent challenges that follow breakups like these is the nagging question of if you can ever stop loving your ex. So, if you are at that point where you are wondering if you can ever forget your love, a simple answer to this is “yes.”
Note, however, that this depends on the person in question. While some people seem to never have a hard time letting go of unrequited love, others may need some more hand-holding and time to completely let go of someone they used to love.
If you can follow the steps we will outline in this article and commit to taking your life one day at a time, you will discover after a while that you may have been able to move on and heal from the hurt of experiencing unrequited love.
If you have tried to move on from someone you have loved without success, here are 10 possible reasons for this.
1. You fell for your partner – hard!
Many people who cannot move on from their relationships, even when it is evident that the relationship is only headed for the rocks, usually have one thing in common.
They fell for their partner – hard.
While it is great to have strong feelings for the one you love, hanging on to these feelings for a long time (after your partner has left you) will only lead to challenges, mental and physical health struggles for you.
It is easy to immerse yourself in a young and happy relationship. However, this immersion may only make you grasp at straws for a long time if your partner ever thinks to walk out of the relationship one day.
It is possible that things went south in the relationship because of some things you or your partner may have done.
However, find yourself taking complete responsibility for everything that went wrong in the relationship (and feeling miserable that things didn’t go as you may have wanted). You may find it challenging to come to terms with the fact that it is time to move on.
Even if you played a part in making the relationship go out of hand, start by acknowledging the mistakes you made in the relationship. When you have done this, commit to forgiving yourself because to get over a lost love.
You must love yourself
3. You used the relationship as a yardstick for all future relationships
If you find yourself constantly asking if you can ever stop loving someone, it could be that you have used the relationship you had with them as a yardstick for all your future relationships.
As a result, you may find yourself trying to weigh all future romantic prospects against the person you used to love.
The sad thing about this is that as long as you keep idealizing the relationship you had with your ex and using it as a yardstick for all future relationships, you may not be able to stop loving your ex.
As a remedy, accepting that the relationship is in the past is one way to start your journey into a new future. Open yourself up to the prospects of a new and thrilling relationship, and refuse the urge to compare your future partners against your ex.
4. You are still in contact with your ex
If you truly want to let go of someone you love who can’t be with you, remaining in contact with them (even when the relationship is over) may not be the best course of action.
When you do this, you surround yourself with memories of what the relationship used to be. This would, in turn, keep you in a cycle of pining after them and wishing that things can go back to normal.
Keeping them out of sight is one sure way to start your healing and recovery process.
5. You still communicate with their friends/family
If you were with your ex-partner for a reasonable amount of time, there is every possibility that you built something formidable with them in the picture. It is also possible that you somehow got to know their close friends and members of their family.
If this is the case, one of the reasons why you keep asking yourself if you can ever stop loving them is because you have allowed their friends/family to remain a major part of your life.
If you are still in close contact with their good friends, it is possible that being around them can remind you of the relationship you are trying to get over.
If possible, reduce all contact you have with their friends/family to the barest minimum. Except if it is indispensable, do not hang out with them.
Almost everyone has heard about ‘first love’ and the intense feelings that accompany this. One of the most remarkable things about first love is the intensity of the feelings that accompany it.
If you aren’t careful, you may find yourself comparing all your future relationships against your first. One commonly asked question is this; “do you ever stop loving your first love?” The truth is that this can be difficult to accomplish.
Considering the rush of feelings that come with being wanted for the first time and experiencing a surge of emotions (sponsored by Oxytocin, Dopamine, and Norepinephrine), letting go of your first love can be difficult.
This is more applicable to you if your ex was responsible for a significant milestone in your life, like a career jump or some sort of major establishment.
One of the reasons why you keep asking if you can ever stop loving someone (instead of investing in moving on) could be traced to a sense of indebtedness.
If you think you owe your ex anything (financial, mental, or emotional duties to them), you may find it challenging to pursue your happiness even when it is evident that they have moved on with their lives as well.
8. The relationship led to an unhealthy emotional dependence
In almost every healthy relationship, all parties get to a point where they depend on themselves for several things.
These could be the little things like trusting a partner to fill up for you when you are running late to a family meeting, or the more essential things like counting on your partner to stay faithful to the relationship.
However, unhealthy emotional dependence occurs when you relinquish all your emotional responsibilities to them. Here, you have very high (and sometimes unreasonable) expectations of them. You depend on them for validation, and your entire sense of self-esteem comes from them.
Letting go of unrequited love is difficult if you have an unhealthy emotional dependence on your ex-partner.
9. You have upheld a mental image of where your relationship could have gone
If you find yourself always fantasizing about where your relationship would have gone instead of accepting the fact that your ex has moved on, you may not be able to move on quickly.
Most people have visions of the future, including who they would like to grow old with. However, holding on to an image of your ex and wishing after things that could have been would only leave you feeling nostalgic.
Can you ever stop loving someone you have created the picture of a beautiful future with, even after it is evident that they aren’t interested in the relationship again? No.
10. You’ve not yet worked on improving your self-love
If you intend to get over your ex and do so quickly, you must consciously improve your self-love levels. Doing this will open you to new insight about yourself, including the knowledge that your ex-partner is only as powerful as you want them to be.
Higher self-love would help you prioritize your health and emotional wellbeing. With this, you can commit to placing your needs first, and this would also help you realize that you are worth all the love you can get.
Now that we have examined 10 reasons you struggle with letting go of unrequited love let us answer another pressing question. Can time make you move on from someone you loved?
Time plays a major role in helping you heal from a breakup. Multiple research studies have shown that it takes an average adult about 3.5 months to recover from a breakup.
At the end of this time frame, the average adult should be willing and able to jump into the dating pool once again.
However, this doesn’t automatically mean that time would make all the pain and hurt go away. In addition to the advantage that time provides, commit to best practices that allow you to truly move on from an ex-partner.
This involves carrying out all the steps we discussed in the last section of this article, especially self-love.
Does moving on mean you stopped loving your ex?
Moving on from your ex-partner doesn’t always mean that you stopped loving them. It could just mean that you prioritize your emotional wellbeing and that you love yourself more than to allow their rejection to keep you away from living your best life – filled with love.
Can you ever stop loving someone with whom you have built a strong relationship?
Although it can be difficult, it is possible. Learning how to move on from someone you used to love can be challenging, especially within the first few weeks or months.
However, if you can follow the steps outlined in this article and commit to taking one day at a time, you will find yourself free of them and stronger than you have ever been.
Also, time would play a significant role as you seek to get over a lost love.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Rachael Pace is a noted relationship writer associated with Marriage.com. She provides inspiration, support, and empowerment in the form of motivational articles and essays. Rachael enjoys studying the evolution of loving partnerships and is passionate about writing on them. She believes that everyone should make room for love in their lives and encourages couples to work on overcoming their challenges together.